ので

ので Japanese Grammar Lesson

Grammar Type: Conjunction

Essential Meaning: So / Since / Because

Construction: 

  • (Verb / い-Adjective) informal + ので
    • E.g. はなすので [Because X speaks]
    • E.g. たかいので [Because X is expensive]
  • (な-Adjective Stem / Noun) + [な / だった] + ので
    • E.g. しずかなので [Because X is quiet]
    • E.g. 先生せんせいなので [Because X is a teacher]

Notes:

  • ので originated as the て-Form of のだ, but in modern Japanese it is used as a conjunction to indicate reason or cause.
  • The conjunctions から and ので both basically mean “So”, “Because”, or “Since” to provide a reason or explanation. The difference between the two is that から is generally used for subjective reasons involving the speaker’s volition or opinion (e.g. speculation, suggestion, intention, request, opinion, volition, invitation, et cetera) while ので is used primarily for objective and clearly evident reasons. Furthermore, から focuses more on the reason (the first sentence), while ので focuses more on the resulting effect (i.e. the second sentence).
  • ので is often used to provide a reason when one’s action may trouble others or when one is speaking apologetically (e.g. to a boss).
    • E.g. 体調たいちょうわるいので、授業じゅぎょうきません。[I am ill, so I unfortunately can’t go to work.]
    • E.g. 電車でんしゃおくれたので、おくれます。[The train was late, so I will unfortunately be late as well.]
    • E.g. カギをなくしたので、みんながはいれませんでした。[I lost the key, so everyone was regrettably unable to enter.]
  • ので is generally preferable in any case when speaking formally to a boss or someone of high social status. Verbs should be in a formal form to match the formality of ので.
    • E.g. ちちがイギリスじんなので、英語えいごはなせます。[My father is British, so he is able to speak English.]
    • E.g. 図書館としょかんしずかなので、よく勉強べんきょうできます。[The library is quiet, so I can study well.]
  • With から, it is acceptable to place the reason sentence after the main sentence. However, this is not acceptable with ので. This is to do with the fact that ので emphasizes the effect rather than the cause.
    • E.g. パーティーに一人ひとりく。友達ともだちがいないから。[I will go to the party alone. It’s because I don’t have any friends.]
    • E.g. 日本語にほんご上手じょうずですね。毎日まいにち勉強べんきょうしていますから。[You’re good at Japanese, aren’t you. It’s because you study every day.]
    • E.g. *パーティーに一人ひとりく。友達ともだちがいないので。[I will go to the party alone. It’s because I don’t have any friends.] It is ungrammatical to use ので at the end of a sentence as in this example.
  • For the same reason as above, ので is not used to reply to questions. から is used instead.
    • E.g. A: どうしてつかれていますか。B: 昨日きのうよる10まで仕事しごとをしていましたから。[A: How come you’re tired? B: Because yesterday I was working until 10 PM.]
    • E.g. *A: どうしてつかれていますか。B: 昨日きのうよる10まで仕事しごとをしていましたので。[A: How come you’re tired? B: Because yesterday I was working until 10 PM.]
  • According to A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar, ので assumes that the information provided as a cause is valid and also assumes that the reasoning is evident and valid to the hearer. So ので can not be used in the following situations (から should be used instead).
    • (1) When the speaker is expressing a conjecture (e.g. with conjecture words such as だろう)
      • E.g. *ひとがたくさんくるだろうのでものをたくさんっておいた。 [I feel that many people will come, so I bought a lot of food to prepare.]
      • E.g. ひとがたくさんくるだろうからものをたくさんっておいた。 [Because I feel that many people will come, I bought a lot of food to prepare.]
    • (2) When the main clause is a command, request, suggestion, invitation, or expresses the speaker’s volition or opinion.
      • E.g. Command:
        • E.g. *この映画えいがはためになるのできなさい。[This movie is good for you, so go see it.]
        • E.g. この映画えいがはためになるからきなさい。[Because this movie is good for you, go see it.]
      • E.g. Request:
        • E.g. *あしたのショーは面白おもしろいのでぜひにきてください。[Tomorrow’s show will be interesting, so by all means please come and see it.]
        • E.g. あしたのショーは面白おもしろいからぜひにきてください。[Because tomorrow’s show will be interesting, by all means please come and see it.]
      • E.g. Suggestion:
        • E.g. *このほんはとても面白おもしろいのでみんなもんだほうがいいよ。[This book is really interesting, so everyone should read it.]
        • E.g. このほんはとても面白おもしろいからみんなもんだほうがいいよ。[Because this book is really interesting, everyone should read it.]
      • E.g. Invitation:
        • E.g. *いいさけをもらったので一緒いっしょみましょうか。[I received some good sake, so shall we drink it together?]
        • E.g. いいさけをもらったから一緒いっしょみましょうか。[Because I received some good sake, shall we drink it together?]
      • E.g. Volition:
        • E.g. *田中たなかさんがくのでぼくもく。[Tanaka-san is going, so I will go too.]
        • E.g. 田中たなかさんがくからぼくもく。[Because Tanaka-san is going, I will go too.]
      • E.g. Opinion:
        • E.g. *ぼくがよくっているので大丈夫だいじょうぶです。[I know it well, so it’s OK.]
        • E.g. ぼくがよく知っているから大丈夫だいじょうぶです。[Because I know it well, it’s OK.]
  • The particle can also be used to indicate reason, but only following nouns and not to conjoin sentences as ので and から do.
    • E.g. 台風たいふういえがたくさんたおれた。[Because of the typhoon, many houses were knocked down.]

Example Sentences:

さけをたくさんんだのでねむくなった。[I drank a lot of sake, so I became sleepy.]

宿題しゅくだいがたくさんあるのでパーティーにけません。[I have a lot of homework, so I can’t go to the party.]

そのほんたかかったのでわなかった。[That book was expensive, so I didn’t buy it.]

わたし部屋へやしずかなのでよく勉強べんきょうできます。[This room is quiet, so I can study well.]

ジェーンはまだ中学生ちゅうがくせいなのでくるま運転うんてんできない。[Jen is still a junior high school student, so she can’t drive a car.]

WILD Examples:

Listen to this line at 1:09: あたま出来できちがので問題もんだいはなし [I see things differently, so there’s no problem]

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